Low Frequencies

Listening to this metal frame, I lost time

Of all the sounds available to record, I am most attracted to those with low frequencies. Perhaps this is partly why electricity pylons pique my interest whenever I see them cutting through farmland, forests, or urban neighbourhoods. Angular geometric shapes within their frames are visually appealing, and perhaps due to the influence of film, there always seems to be something dystopian about them. Now, add to this the low pitched drones that can be heard reverberating inside them … well, what could be better?

I have just started working on a new project which will see me recording in areas around the Gold Coast.  Known as a popular holiday destination, the Gold Coast is crammed with high-rise appartments each competing for a view of the Pacific Ocean. Scratch the surface and it is also known for its availability of drugs, prostitution, and biker gangs.

I love the contradiction between the Gold Coast’s polished image and what lies beneath its surface. To me the low frequencies of the electricity pylons passing through its neighbourhood parks and suburbs exemplify this discrepancy; the sounds being generated almost amplify an underworld that would normally remain hidden from view.

I rose early on the day of this field trip in a bid to avoid wind that might compromise the quality of the recordings. Unfortunately the timing coincided with the dawn chorus. The sounds of butcher birds and lorikeets occasionally calling from the pylons cut through the low tones I had been seeking. I’ll have to set my alarm a little bit earlier for the next expedition.

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